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Harvard MLB Round-Up

By Evan J. Zepfel, Crimson Staff Writer

As pitchers and catchers begin reporting to spring training for another baseball season, a former Harvard player will be among their ranks.

Frank Herrmann ’06, who made his major league debut on June 4, 2010, for the Cleveland Indians, will look to improve on a 4.03 ERA from his rookie season. The second-year pitcher is the first Crimson player to reach the big leagues since Jeff Musselman ’85 took the mound for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1986.

Herrmann pitched in 40 games last season for Cleveland, logging 44 and 2/3 innings while striking out 24, including perennial All-Stars Carl Crawford, David Ortiz, Miguel Cabrera, and even the reigning American League Most Valuable Player, Josh Hamilton. The relief pitcher posted a 3-0 record and a 0.31 ERA in 19 games for Triple-A Columbus before he was called up to Cleveland in 2010.

Herrmann is the only Harvard alumnus to appear on a club’s 40-man roster for spring training, but he isn’t the only former Crimson ballplayer with a pro contract for the upcoming season.  The Boston Red Sox announced last Friday that they had purchased the contract of Matt Kramer ’08 after he hit .346 in 20 games for the Sioux City Explorers of the independent American Association.

Kramer, who caught and played first base for Harvard and during his minor league stints, will begin the conversion to pitcher after his fastball topped out at 95 MPH on the radar gun during fall workouts with the Red Sox.

Before signing with Sioux City, Kramer, the St. Louis native, played with the Atlanta Braves organization.

Crimson coach Joe Walsh kept Kramer off the mound because of his offensive prowess and solid defensive skills. Playing in the field prevented Kramer from pitching at Harvard, but his arm impressed Boston scouts enough to give him a shot at making the transition to the rubber.

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